RICHMOND, VA – (Wednesday, March 23, 2011) – The Richmond Kickers are pleased to announce the return of veteran defender Evan Harding, along with newcomers Ryan Heins and Jamel Wallace to round out the 2011 roster, pending USSF approval.
"With our move to USL PRO, it was imperative that we strengthened the squad,” comments Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Head Coach and Director of Soccer. “We needed to add experienced players who could also deal with the physical nature of the league. Signing Evan, Ryan and Jamel so late in the process was an added bonus and we look forward to all three making a significant contribution to the team.”
Making 63 appearances with the Kickers over the past four years, Evan Harding returns for his fifth season in Richmond in 2011. The native of Charlotte, NC burst onto the professional scene in 2007 after signing with the Kickers out of the 2007 Pro Combine. In his rookie season, he earned USL-2 Team of the Week honors on four occasions and quickly made his way into the starting lineup.
A versatile player who saw time in the midfield and back line at UNC-Charlotte, Harding started 73 of 75 games played over four seasons. Responsible for 11 goals and seven assists for 29 points during his collegiate career, Harding became the fourth player in the four-year history of the team to earn NCCSIA All-State honors his senior year.
Richmond newcomer Ryan Heins adds firepower to the midfield and brings a wealth of professional playing experience to the 2011 squad. Originally from Medford, NJ, the 6’1” midfielder was the first selection for the Philadelphia KiXX in the MISL’s expansion draft in 2007. Making his USL debut in 2008 with rival Harrisburg City Islanders, he led the team with seven goals and one assist in 17 appearances. He concluded the 2008 season on loan with the Rochester Rhinos, making 51 appearances with the USL First Division/USSF Division II side over two seasons.
A four-year starter at Temple University, Heins notched seven career goals and 11 assists and capped his collegiate career by earning All-Atlantic 10 Second Team honors his senior season.
Rookie defender Jamel Wallace bolsters the Kickers defensive unit, after a one-year stint with the Kitsap Pumas of the USL Premier Development League. Drafted by the Seattle Sounders in the fourth round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, Wallace concluded a standout career at San Diego State University in 2009. Making 69 appearances over four years, he notched seven career goals and one assist. Earning All-Pac-10 Honorable Mentions in 2007 and 2009, the San Diego, CA native was named to the All-Pac-10 Second Team in 2008.
Reserve your 2011 Season Passes and join the Richmond Kickers when they open the USL PRO campaign, hosting Orlando City on Saturday, April 2 at 4:00 p.m. at Richmond City Stadium. Taking the field for their 19th season, the Kickers will compete alongside American Division rivals Charlotte Eagles, Charleston Battery, Orlando City and Wilmington Hammerheads and will also face National and International opponents Dayton Dutch Lions, Harrisburg City Islanders, FC New York, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Rochester Rhinos, Antigua Barracuda FC, Los Angeles Blues, Puerto Rico United and Sevilla FC Puerto Rico during the 24-game season. Visit RichmondKickers.com for schedules and ticket information.